Volvo used electric excavator to dig Chelsea Flower Show garden

Building a future for pure-electric construction equipment

WHILE PURE-ELECTRIC cars are becoming more commonplace, zero-emissions construction vehicles are virtually non-existent. That’s with the exception of Volvo’s ECR25 electric excavator, which has been set to work ahead of this week’s prestigious Chelsea Flower Show.

The first of an upcoming range of electric building site vehicles, the electric digger’s first job has been preparing the foundations for the Morgan Stanley Garden at this year’s London show.

The ECR25 Electric is the ideal machine to use when building a garden in central London, according to Volvo Construction Equipment (CE). Not only does the excavator emit zero tailpipe emissions but its powertrain is also far quieter those of conventional diesel-powered diggers. Volvo says it requires less maintenance, too.

If you’re imagining the ECR25 might be a bit weedy or liable to run out of battery before the working day is over, think again: its breakout force of 20.2kN is only a fraction off the diesel model’s 20.7kN rating and Volvo claims up to eight hours of operation before it needs to be plugged in.

Recharging up to 80% of the battery’s capacity takes one hour using a rapid charger but the ECR25 can also be plugged into a suitable mains power supply for overnight recharging, too.

In keeping with the eco-friendly credentials of the digger, the garden it’ll help create also has an environmental message to send. According to its creators, the Morgan Stanley Garden’s main aim is to “explore how beautiful gardens can be created with a lighter environmental footprint”.

Volvo used electric excavator to dig Chelsea Flower Show garden

Ahcène Nedjimi, the Volvo Group’s electromobility specialist, said: “Volvo has always been committed to delivering zero emissions in the construction industry and now we are fulfilling this promise with a machine that represents a brighter future not only for our industry, but for society as a whole.”

Though it’s a separate entity to the more well-known Volvo auto maker, Volvo Group’s commercial vehicle arm appears to share a passion for plug-ins. While Volvo Cars has promised 50% of its sales will be pure-electric by 2025, Volvo Group has developed a zero-emissions bus and dustbin lorry, and trials of its VNR Electric truck cab are on track to begin in North America next year.

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